A recent Gallup study found that only 47% of American workers are completely satisfied with their jobs. A MarketTools study found that 21% of employees had applied to another job in the past six months. Clearly, many employees are ready to look elsewhere for the next step in their careers.
How do you make them look at you? More importantly, how do you make your current employees stay with you?
Or, in short, how can your company become an employer of choice?
an employer of choice means that applicants are eager to work for you,
that people envy your employees, that you receive unsolicited resumes,
and that your most talented workers stay with the company throughout
It's the holy grail for every employers. So do you achieve it?
There's no single answer to
that question. In fact, coming up with the answer may require answers to
more questions. Here are a few you should tackle:
1. "Employer of choice" to whom?
who are the people you want to run your business. Shark-like
go-getters? Tech wizards? Ideallists who want to change the world?
Employees of your competitors?
Your workers don't have to be
people who live nearby or happened to see your job listing. Create a
vision for your workforce and strive to bring it to life.
The answer to the first question leads to the second:
2. What do the people that you want, want?
A recent survey of college seniors by
the National Association of Colleges and Employers found that, when
weighing a job offer, these workers look first for opportunities for
personal growth, then job security, and then friendly co-workers. "High
starting salary" didn't make the top three. So if you're offering recent
grad lots of money up front but little chances of career advancement,
you'll need to change your priorities to be successful.
There are plenty of workplace
surveys out there, but you'll get the best information from your
employees, your candidates (even the ones who turned you down), and your
applicants. Ask them what drew them to your organization. What set you
apart? What's still lacking? Accept the answers without judgment. You
can't improve unless you acknowledge you're not perfect.
Spoiler alert: Answers to the next question may require collaboration with your senior leadership.
3. What are you prepared to do to attract your ideal employees -- and keep them?
may require some changes within your structure or culture. You may have
to increase perks, change policies, or even enhance your workplace
with, say, a gym or daycare center or coffee bar. And that can't happen
without approval of your senior leadership, who may not see the need
behind such transitions (and costs). You can tell them that more engaged
employees will lead to higher retention, lower hiring costs, higher
productivity, and eventually greater profits -- all true.
company wants to have an employer brand that positions them as an
employer of choice. Who wouldn't want to have talent competing for you
instead of the other way around?
in addition to the answers to the questions above, here is a short list
of attributes of an employer of choice. How does your company stack up?
1. Interesting work
but not difficult; straightforward but not easy. Most workers want to
be stimulated, challenged, or inspired by their work. No matter what
your industry, are your positions actually interesting? Or do they ask
too much or too little of the employees?
2. Career advancement
If you want workers to stay with you for their entire careers, you have to give them
a career. This includes a clear path to promotions, regular and fair
evaluations, and training for new skills. And don't forget about a
mentoring program, which is lacking at most companies.
3. Social Responsibility
people want to feel that they're doing good. If your company isn't in
the rainforest-saving industry, you can still recycle, partner with a
charity, and engage in fundraising activities. This attribute also
includes business ethics.
just fair pay but also rewards for work well done and for time spent
with the company. Contests (such as sales goals) also help employees
feel valued, as can bonuses, free food, and other perks.
closing, becoming an employer of choice isn't easy. It means taking an
honest look at your current workforce and what you want it to become. It
means acknowledging some difficult truths and making internal changes.
The rewards, however, are hard
to overstate. You'll have the best workers, doing their best work,
increasing profits -- and not leaving.
Want to know more about becoming an employer of choice? The door at Brandemix is always open.